Friday, January 31, 2003
Biodiversity Corner Eastern coyote
MassWildlife explains that coyotes made their way into central and western Massachusetts in the 1950s, and didn't move into eastern parts of the state until the 1970s. Now coyote numbers in the area are well-established. The area a coyote may use is variable • from 4 to 30 square miles. (Ed. note: Carlisle is 15.4 square miles.) Coyotes look like a medium-sized dog with exceptionally thick fur. Their coats may be grayish-black, blonde, light tan, dark tan or all black. They weigh from 33-50 pounds. Since coyotes have a variety of food sources (they are described by MassWildlife as "opportunistic feeders"), they have adapted to living in heavily populated areas as well as wild areas. They will feed on berries, fruits, vegetables, a variety of small animals, deer, and insects. Unfortunately for pet owners, coyotes view cats and small dogs as potential food and larger dogs as competition. MassWildlife encourages residents to keep pets restrained at all times. Coyotes are shy and elusive animals. They may be active day or night, and sightings are common at dawn or dusk.
MassWildlife has an excellent information series on "Living with Wildlife" that lists tips on preventing conflict with various animals, including the coyote. Here are four tips of the many that you will find on their web site: (1) Cut back brushy edges in your yard to reduce cover for coyotes and their prey; (2) secure garbage tightly in firm containers rather than bags; (3) store compost in a secure container with sufficient air flow; and (4) use bird feeders that keep seed off the ground since seed attracts small mammals, which in turn attract coyotes. MassWildlife encourages people with questions or problems regarding coyotes to contact their nearest District Office. You can also reach them by e-mail at Mass.Wildlife@state.ma.us
Christina Campbell moved to River Road in Carlisle from the Niagara Falls region in Canada, one and a half years ago. She is a professional gardener and loves the outdoors and what one can find there.
Submissions for the Biodiversity Corner are encouraged and welcomed from all interested observers of nature. Think of it as your space to say a word or two on behalf of one of your favorite species. Just follow the format of today's column (or not) and send to Kay Fairweather at 392 School Street, Carlisle MA 01741 or to email@example.com Don't hold back due to lack of photos or drawings.
© 2003 The Carlisle Mosquito